Faith issues shape bid by Turkey to join EU

Turkish prime minister works hard to display tolerance
Early last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over the opening of a new synagogue, mosque and church—the last partitioned into Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox sections—in the Mediterranean resort area of Belek.

It was a rather flamboyant gesture on Erdogan’s part, designed to convince skeptical Europeans that the secular but largely Muslim nation of nearly 70 million people practices a religious tolerance that makes it a worthy candidate for membership in the European Union. “Beyond its symbolic importance, this project gives the message of peace and brotherhood to the whole world,” Erdogan said at the ceremony.


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